1.5 cups fresh lilikoi juice
2 cups brown sugar
4 well beaten eggs (till frothy)
1 stick of butter, melted
In a quart-size pot, combine the sugar with the well-beaten eggs (the Braun hand mixer works especially well for this). Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is completely blended with the eggs. Turn stovetop heat to medium and slowly pour the lilikoi juice into the blend of sugar and eggs, stirring gently. Slowly add the melted butter, continuing to stir. Bring to a low boil, then reduce to medium heat, stirring for five to 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, lower the heat to simmer, stirring occasionally till the ingredients reach a thick, syrupy consistency (we usually let it simmer another half hour).
Boil water to sterilize 8-ounce jars. Pour the water into the bottles and their tops, then dry upside down. Pour the lilikoi butter directly from the stove into the jars, filling them to the top, then screw on the tops while the butter is hot so each jar will vacuum pack itself. Let sit overnight, then refrigerate. The sealed butter is safe at room temperature until opened, but we prefer the consistency that is reached at a refrigerated coolness, even if we haven’t cracked the seal.
Botsy has never made his butter from lilikoi concentrate, because he has his own vines, which provide fruit all year round. That won’t work in Michigan in the dead of winter, so frozen concentrate will probably work fine. If you have fresh lilikoi, they have to be cut in half, spooning out the seeds and what little juice there is into a strainer, pressing the juice through with a large spoon. It takes about 50 lilikoi for 1.5 cups of juice. This is the time-consuming part of the process.
Botsy’s lilikoi butter goes really well on toast. He likes sourdough English muffins, well toasted, with a layer of peanut butter topped with the lilikoi butter. You can get really carried away and add sliced bananas if you aren’t on a diet. Sheez, if you’re on a diet, you better skip this recipe completely. We took a jar to former Star-Bulletin editor Barbara Morgan and she proclaimed it “more addicting than crack cocaine.” Needless to say, Ms. Morgan was speaking analogically.
MAHALO: This lilikoi butter recipe was given to Botsy by Joyce and Rufus Sonognini, who live on a small goat farm outside Hilo. Now Botsy is condemned to a lifetime of making lilikoi butter for the Sonognini’s grandkids, Kaden and Koaia, who live in Kailua and always ask Uncle Botsy, “Where’s the lilikoi butter you promised us last month?”